Files Beware – by “Jennifer W”

Drama for files-storage sites has sharers worried about their cyberspace security. Sure Napster is long gone, and the DMCA is old news in regard to its take-down [left-hand-on-red-circle, right-foot-on-green-square] games and processes, but the saga of cyberspace control continues with the latest filings by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) against file storage and sharing sites like Hotfile.com.

After reading through a few articles, I feel that it’s important to recognize the mindset afflicting organizations like the MPAA. I’ll call it the ConFricDA [Copyright Control Freak Logic of the Digital Age] mindset.

ConFricDA minds process the current social landscape in a different manner than the rest of us. Their symptoms include believing that:

(re: the internet user)

…the internet is made up of infringers; constantly stepping on someone else’s toes in order to become famous in cyberspace.

…everyone wants to become famous just like in Hollywood & Nashville.

…internet users cannot become popular without help from professionals.

(re: the information on the internet)

…popular files become popular because they belong to professionals and professionals do not allow flagrant distribution of their intellectual property therefore popular files must also be pirated files.

(re: websites that host information on the internet)

…since websites have developed methods of profiting off of a user’s popularity, websites are interested in professional products being posted illegally because those  will obviously bring in more money for websites than anything else posted.

…as a result of the above, it is unhealthily for websites to promote files-sharers attempts to become popular because file-sharers will only become popular through the help of professionally owned intellectual property. Thus, encouraging users to create files that will become popular is equal to promoting illegal pirate activities.

(re: law suits)

…sue and ask questions later. Money talks and those without it shut-up and shut-down.

Editor’s note:** You should not perform business operations or surf the web while suffering from ConFricDa. If you are afflicted with ConFricDA seek the help of anyone possessing common sense immediately. Business activities conducted while affected by ConFricDA often include frivolous lawsuit filings against service providers, hosts, and other ‘enablers’ of user directed content creating headaches for dozens if not thousands of bystanders and the overall irritation of the cyber society.

Yet, businesses continue to disregard warnings over their ConFricDA driven actions due to the other major symptom of ConFricDA–a great, even overwhelming, desire for control over society’s knowledge of, and/or general awareness of, intellectual property and products.

In other words, organizations of people out of ideas have become control freaks in the digital age–afraid of the need for further idea creation for themselves to prosper. In an attempt to slow the need for their own generation of new ideas and developments, they desperately try to stop others from having progressive thoughts, claiming that new thoughts are constantly infringing on the intellectual property rights of those who have come before.

Now I know you might say, but MPAA is complaining about the distribution of its own products not derivative videos, mash-ups, etc. True, but the measures by which they are trying to enforce their rights will disrupt the ability for everyone, derivative makers, original makers, and viewers, to transfer information through digital file-storage sites. I mean if we related the MPAA’s latest suit to a physical library that found a counterfeit dollar bill on it’s third floor, we should sue and demand a closing of the library for having allowed the illegal dollar bill to sit on it’s floor–those hoping to go their for books be damned.

Who the heck would go for that? So then why are we standing for such paralyzation of our digital file-storage facilities?

The safe harbor measures of the DMCA were put into place to help elevate the ridiculous fear-mongering of organizations like MPAA who sue anyone that sneezes around something that could-possibly-maybe-in-some-way-kinda infringe on their copyrights or those of their members by even providing service to an infringer, whether they know it or not. Yet, we still have these suits being filed because the current copyright laws are so illogically distorted to fit an age that is nothing like that where they came from that we can’t avoid continuing to fight the same issues.

So have fun, legal bodies and attorneys that will chew on the endless grizzle that cyberspace provides to those who seek it. No matter how many safe harbors, procedures, or fair use generalities you generate, there’ll never be an elegant process to copyright in the digital age until the current copyright law is either expertly altered or simply abolished. But I guess for some, that means job security but for file storers, it means insecurity.

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